I'm writing in regards to your interpretation of Mulholland Drive posted at your website and to add a few lines to the discussion. I found your piece very enlightening and in some cases, very much in line with my own thoughts on the movie.
First, Diane's dilema seems to be embedded in the "star" versus "actor" dynamic in Hollywood. In the "reality" sequence at the director's party, Diane reveals that she and Camilla were up for the same role, but Camilla won out. While it's not explicitly discussed in the film, though, I believe the way most Hollywood films are made, at least big-budget ones, the major roles are already decided fairly well in advance, part of the overall "package" that's sold to the movie company beforehand, so I question whether or not Diane would really be competing against Camilla for the role. In any event, it's clear that Camilla is the "star" while Diane at least considers herself an "actress". The two may have indeed met at an audition and it may very well be that it was the film that made Camilla a star, which factors into Diane's continuing resentment, given that she's now relegated to bit parts in Camilla's movies. Camilla is the center of attention, while Diane dies and is allowed to rot away in her apartment since no one seems to care enough about her to want to check on her.
On the subject of Club Silencio, I believe this factors into Camilla's star quality as well. It should be noted during the "fantasy" sequence that Betty and Rita are fairly open about their affection for one another. They are holding hands at Club Silencio and at the diner. In the real world, a "star" like Camilla, particularly one who trades on her "sex appeal" would not be open about the fact that she's a lesbian or bi-sexual. The Club Silencio section comes just after Betty and Rita have consumated their relationship and it's also the last time we see the pair together as a loving couple. Early on, Betty goes to some lengths to hide the fact that Rita's with her, blocking the view of the crazy neighbor and later lying to the landlady about Rita's identity. It's significant, I believe, that Coco shows up both in the role of Betty's landlady and Adam's mother in the "real" sequence at the end. Adam's mother seems like just the sort who would have any prospective mate for her son investigated to be sure there weren't any skeletons in the closet (so to speak). In Betty's world, her landlady wants to know who the mysterious woman is in the apartment, whereas in Diane's world, Coco wants to know who this mousy woman is who keeps following Camilla around. I see the kiss between Camilla and the other actress at the director's party as a further extension of Diane's delusional state. It's highly doubtful that Camilla would expose her sexuality at a high-profile party where she's about to announce her engagement (even in Hollyweird), particularly when she's seated beside her future mother-in-law. Perhaps Diane noted a closeness between Camilla and the other actress and her paranoia filled in the blanks, also transposing the other actress into the Camilla role in her fantasy. In this context, Club Silencio could then represent the metaphor for Camilla cautioning Diane to keep quiet about their relationship. Right after their visit to the club, Diane's dreamworld comes to an end and she's forced back into reality. If Diane and Camilla met at an early point in Camilla's rise to stardom, then that could also have been what came between them as it would necessitate a greater degree of privacy on their part. Perhaps Diane was unwilling to live by Camilla's new rules, which forced their breakup.
The movie is very intriguing and I'll probably have more comments, but wanted to get these into the general discussion.
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--Allen B. Ruch
6 June 2004